From the very beginning, we decided to create a completely different product that is distinctly modern and yet has rustic roots. We describe it as Canadian West Coast style with contemporary design. The key to these builds are logs imported from Finland, used for the load-bearing exterior walls where they hold up the house, and conventional stick-frame construction for the interior walls. This lowers costs and simplifies the build for plumbing, ventilation, gas and electrical systems.
Created by Finland-based Kontio, the world’s largest log house factory, logs are engineered to be square-shaped and fit together in a tongue-and-groove Cross-Laminated System (CLL) that is ideal for home building. These logs last longer, are easier to work with, and make log houses that are much healthier than typical stick-frame houses. Log homes breathe. This simple fact solves one of the most confounding problems of modern construction. Kontio houses today are carefully engineered and tightly regulated to ensure that moisture-creating humans — with foggy breath, showers and dishwashers — don’t create tenacious fungal farms of toxic mould.
In typical homes, when warm inside moisture-laden air lands on cool walls, it condenses and forms water that feeds bacteria and mould in hidden cracks, under carpets, and behind drywall. To solve these problems, modern houses are built on the principle of total environmental control. Layers of protection isolate the inside from the outside environment. Exterior barriers block any moisture from coming in, with multiple vapour barriers installed to keep inside moisture from escaping. However, layers of vinyl, wood, fibreglass, plastic, and drywall cannot match the perfectly regulated moisture control and breathability of trees.
Additionally, Kontio log houses are warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Eight inches of solid pine wood insulate the home and also regulate moisture. Health is the key issue for this type of house — no mould, no place for bacteria to hide.
WHY LOG HOMES?
Because they are:
- Healthy — organic materials are better for your body
- Quick — offsite manufacturing accelerates the build time
- Strong and flexible — perfect for seismic areas like Vancouver
- Cool — no need for air conditioning
- Warm — excellent air tightness, near Passive House standards
- Breathable — moisture managed, no risk of mould
- Soundproof — excellent acoustic insulation
- Authentic — no need to cover with siding or drywall to enhance the appearance